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Linden Lab’s Second Life is 11 Years Old – So What’s New?

July 3, 2014 • News

Linden Lab – Second Life’s 11th Birthday (SL11B)

Second Life celebrated it’s 11th Birthday on the same week the SL vsn2 controversy took over the virtual gossip forums.

It’s no coincidence that Ebbe Altberg came out with this stunning news just as the biggest event in Second Life takes place. An announcement like that needed big headlines.

Linden Lab

Ebbe Altberg (pictured left) with Draxtor Depres

As Second Life hit its eleventh anniversary, it’s clear that Linden Lab is also reinventing its brand. After years of criticism for failing to reach its potential, they’re trying to fix that with this new iteration of Second Life. Despite some thinking that Second Life was a failure as of late, they maintain that their service is as strong as ever.

Almost $4 billion has passed through its marketplace, and they receive an annual revenue of $75 million – yes that’s $75 million a YEAR!

Second Life is going nowhere if these kind of revenues continue to come in.

Second Life Development – Version 1

If you think Linden Lab’s development on SecondLife has ceased, think again. There’s the new beta test for the ‘Experience Keys‘ project and calls for a Senior Software Engineer, presumably to work on this project.

Future of ‘Our’ Second Life

According to Linden Lab staff members there are just under a million active users each month. This has dropped from previous years but is still a huge number. Today’s talk about the future of Second Life hosted by Firestorm team & Linden Lab had the following outcomes.

Pete Linden Reveals

Pete Linden stated that Linden Lab has no plans to shut down Second Life and is developing it to make it better. He pointed out that it’s been the most successful virtual world ever (I guess he forgot about IMVU) and that the two platforms (SL1 & SL2) will both run parallel to one another.

Linden Lab

Second Life and ‘Next Generation’

Under Ebbe Altberg’s CEOship, Linden Lab has begun a ‘transparency’ policy regarding Second Life and was upbeat about the avalanche of questions from the participants and viewers.

Oz Linden Discloses

Oz Linden (who will be managing Second Life development) may have paused and evasive answers at the Firestorm team/Linden Lab, but there’s real work going on to further develop Second Life as a virtual world platform. Oz claimed to have a small active team working on Second Life but refused to give numbers. He spoke about Experience Keys, group chat, HTTP pipelining, more activity with the community and fixes for ATI texture errors.
Daniel Voyager sumarises points answered neatly in his blog.

Second Life Development – Version 2

A beta version of the new Second Life is expected for a release in 2015, with the final product in 2016. This is a long way off, and even though they have a 50-strong team developing this platform, we will know very little about it until it’s ready for testing.

Ebbe Altberg certainly has his eye on the future with this new product. According to his interview with leading tech news blog Engadget, it will be built to span every device its users can have. Clearly also aimed at the consumer, it will be “Multi-device from day one.” If this is the case, it’s also clearly aimed at younger and poorer users – who will become part of a social network for virtual reality. Is the intended future of this to be a Facebook replacement?

Linden Lab

Will Next Generation Second Life replace Facebook?

 

From what Ebbe is saying, that’s the plan. The intent is for development to be simple with entry and skill levels lower – just as app development is a cut down version of program coding. The platform is intended for use by hundreds of millions of people.

Faster, easier and cheaper will be the aim for the user experience – with a gadget and add on breadth that continues to grow and a customer base to challenge and overtake Facebook.

It’s one huge challenge in 1-2 years, so let’s hope the 50 or so programmers are up to it. Ebbe certainly things so and is willing to bet his job on it.

More About This Linden Lab Topic From Other Sources

For you to see how busy people are talking about it, here are some further links that may interest you on this topic:

Engadget / New World Notes / Second Life: Third Party Viewer meeting (where Ebbe Altberg announced the  “New Generation Platform”) /

Recode / Gwyneth Llewelyn / Massively / SLArtist / Nalates Urriah / Tonya Souther / Inara Pey

 

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